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Stanford stays unbeaten in 41 meetings with Cougars

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- There are few certainties in life, but you
can always count on death, taxes and Stanford beating Washington
State in women's basketball.

The Cardinal (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) improved to 41-0 all-time against the
Cougars by opening Pac-10 play with a 76-56 rout Tuesday night.

Brooke Smith led Stanford (6-2) with 17 points, and Candice
Wiggins and Krista Rappahahn both added 14. Kate Benz led
Washington State (6-3, 0-1 Pac-10) with 12 points.

Smith, working down low, scored eight points during a 10-0 run
that gave Stanford the lead for good midway through the first half.
The Cardinal led 40-25 after scoring the last eight points of the
first half, then Wiggins buried a pair of 3-pointers to start
another 10-0 Stanford run to open the second half.

"You have to play a flawless game against Stanford, you really
do -- and we didn't," Washington State coach Sherri Murrell said.

"I thought we played an uninspired first half," Stanford coach
Tara VanDerveer said. "We came out in the second half and got
things going."

Murrell said inside dominance by the 6-foot-3 Smith was a key
factor in the lopsided score. Smith, an all-conference player last
season after transferring from Duke, went 8-for-13 from the field
and had four rebounds, four assists, one steal and one blocked
shot.

"I thought theyd be doubling (double-teaming her) harder,"
Smith said.

"In the first half, I thought we played her pretty well
defensively," said Keisha Moore, who had eight points and 11
rebounds for Washington State. "In the second half, I was letting
her get me deep. She has this amazing hook shot."

Stanford shot 52 percent from the field and held Washington
State to 33 percent. WSU freshman point guard Katie Appleton made
all seven of her turnovers in the first half, when the Cougars had
12 of their 17 turnovers.

"Twelve first-half turnovers -- that's what hurt us," Murrell
said. "You can't make 12 turnovers against the No. 10 team in the
nation."

Appleton and Amanda Durocher, another freshman guard, both
scored 11 points for Washington State. Durocher, playing with a
fractured wrist, missed her first eight field-goal attempts before
finishing 3-for-13 -- 3-for-11 on 3-pointers.

Rappahahn, one of the national leaders with 53 percent shooting
on 3-pointers, went 4-for-8 from 3-point range. That helped cover
for the absence of star forward Kristen Newlin, who is out
indefinitely with a stress reaction in her left femur.

Wiggins, the Pac-10 Player of the Year as a freshman last
season, sat out most of the second half. VanDerveer said Stanford's
big lead let her give Wiggins extra time to rest a left knee
injury.

The Cougars, who have already matched their total of six wins
for each of the previous two seasons, have been blown out the past
two games by Top 25 teams Minnesota and Stanford.

"Merry Christmas, huh?" Murrell said with a smile. "But I
like it. This program is getting better and better. We've got to
realize what it takes to play a team like that."